About Minnesota Fringe

There is one big thing that makes Fringe different from any other event in town: All the shows you'll see at Fringe were selected randomly by lottery.

Yep. That's right. Each year the lineup is crafted by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and drawing them out, one by one. From stage veterans to people who are brand new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell. We also provide the necessary support to make producing a show as easy as possible, regardless of where you land on the artistic spectrum.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in our next festival, applications will go live in November here on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a reminder as well as information about other theater events happening around town.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote creative freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Thank you for joining in this adventure!

Close this


Shows start and end on time at Fringe. With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows in just 11 days, we have to run a tight schedule to avoid descending into chaos. Performances are no more than 60 minutes long with a half hour between each show.

On weekdays shows begin at 5:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm. On weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. In addition to keeping our schedule, late seating is a safety issue for artists and audiences.

Safety for artists: Some of our theaters require that patrons walk across parts of the stage to reach the seating area, and many of our production companies’ stage work encompasses entrances and exits from the house.

Safety for audiences: Entering a darkened theater, possibly for the first time, and trying to find open seats puts patrons and volunteers at unnecessary risk.

Close this

Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, serves as the late-night watering hole for artists, staff, volunteers and audience members alike. Come in after a day full of shows to grab a beer and some bar food. Talk about what you loved and what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the scenes and actors on the stage. Find out what you should see tomorrow or dream up your own idea for next year. You never know what will happen during Fringe, but dropping by Fringe Central gives you a serious head start.

Close this

What to Wear

Shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously. Also, a pair of comfy shoes will serve you well in case you have to wait in line. Most Fringe shows take place indoors in air-conditioned venues, so having a layer to throw on in case you get chilly is also advisable.

Close this

Choosing a Show

With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose the perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Lanyards are worn by Fringe artists and there are at least a thousand of them dying to tell you about their show.

Read and write reviews: See what audiences are raving about on our audience review page, then return the favor and let others know what you thought.

Close this

Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

Create: Applications for the 2018 festival will are live on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Volunteer: Our volunteers are near and dear to our hearts and make our festival go, so we shower them with lots of love and complimentary seats! Sign up for a shift now!

Socialize: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Support: Help us create Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl by donating to or sponsoring our annual festival. Gifts of any size make a large contribution to our ability to meet our mission.

Close this

Box Office Info

Pass, Reservations, and Tickets, Oh My!

In 2018, Fringe will still offer passes but is also re-introducing single tickets options to see shows. We are re-tooling our Box Office policies to reflect our changes. Please check back for more information in the spring.

Close this




Clutter, Chaos, Creativity and the Collyer Brothers

By Grimm
Created by Judith Heineman

Playing at U of M Rarig Center Arena


Solo show, Improv, Storytelling/Spoken word, Audience participation, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Actors' Equity participants, National/international company

For Disposaphobics and those who Love/Hate them. A humorous one-woman show about Too Much Stuff, including the cautionary tale of infamous hoarder Collyer Brothers. Judith gives away "stuff" at the end of show

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages Grown-ups only (18+)


Fri, 8/4 @ 8:30pm


Sat, 8/5 @ 4:00pm


Mon, 8/7 @ 10:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 8:30pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 5:30pm

* Reservations not required, but a Day Pass is. Find out more below.

Ticket Options

Day Passes are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends. Day Passes serve as entry to any show in the festival on a given day. Optional reservations to guarantee a seat for a particular performance are available by clicking the "reserve" button above. Day Passes can be purchased in advance with a reservation or at any venue box office during the festival.

Weekdays 1pm-3pm and Weekends 11am-1pm we'll also open an Alternative Box Office at Fringe Central so you can grab a Day Pass and skip the lines at the venue before the show.

Day Passes for kids 12 and under are available at any box office during the festival just $5 every day.

A 2017 Fringe button isn't required for entry, but it does get you access! Wearing it not only identifies you as a part of a fabulous Fringe community, it also entitles you to special deals at local bars and restaurants and access to reduced ticket prices at various theaters throughout the year. Get your 2017 Fringe button for only $4 at any Fringe preview event or Fringe venue during the festival.

Read the reviews

A meta-show!

by Corrie Fiedler on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

Many reviewers have called the show 'scattered'. And, yes, it was.

But only this morning did I reflect on the big picture. Judith had packed her show full of stories, anecdotes, descriptions of 'stuff' (aka junk), and more, and more. Just as disposaphobics pack their homes full of 'stuff' that someday may have a purpose. So, if you are comfortable entering a disposaphobic's space, then this show may feel perfect. For me, though, it was scattered!

If you live with a disposaphobic, this show may give some good insight into: "what in the world they are thinking when they save a plastic sack full of packing popcorn, or ...."

1 person found this review helpful


by Austen barranco on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I really liked this show. Storyteller extraordinaire. I got goose bumps from the unfoldment of her story. My favorite of the 7 shows I saw this fringe so far.

Honest but scattered

by Ben Mendis on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

I was impressed that she could come on stage and just talk for a whole hour at the same frantic pace. But while most of her stories were well told, the style of story telling felt scattered. There was also a frantic pace, and a pleading in her voice, as if she really needed to justify her junk collecting and was seeking the audiences' approval.

Unfortunately I felt that some of the stories she told, while honest, were as worthless to her argument as the junk they were meant to defend.

Ultimately I came away unconvinced, but if you were ever curious about how it feels to live with AD(H)D watching Judith talk will perfectly describe that experience. In a way, I think that was even more valuable than her stated topic.

Interesting but scattered

by Jim Louis on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 30 shows

The story telling was good, however I found this show to be scattered.

Clutter, Chaos, Creativity

by Bobbi Pauling on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I really enjoyed unexpectedly attending this show. Yes, it has a bit of a slow start, but this is a really really seasoned storyteller who makes us look at clutter and creativity from quite a few angles and not giving a one size fits all rule, which is very freeing. Her story of the Collyer Brothers is slowly brought forward through her tales, so that you are waiting for it, and it is a tale worth waiting for. I actually gave her a piece of clutter that was in my bag--a small flowered notebook. She is very informal, but has very well-prepared stories, connects with her audience, and I could hear everything when I don't always.

1 person found this review helpful

YES to Judith!

by Vicki Joan Keck on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

Not a big crowd on Monday at 10 pm - but we received such a treat! An intimate show by a consummate Storyteller, who made us feel like friends. I could listen to her for hours! This is not a workshop or a diatribe about clutter. It does not offer many answers, just allows us to think about our "messes" in a different way. Loved it!

NOT to be thrown away!

by Larry Ripp on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

I love and am in awe of of seeing somebody do something I can't do as a performer. To stand up and address an audience for an hour and not look like you are reaching or hunting for a thought is my idea of magic. Magic is on stage here with a show that confronts the hoarding problem with compassion, wit, charm and even some puzzling over the human condition. No real answers or message here and for all her self revelation I got the impression that there is more to this story and this personality than meets the eye. What she just touches on with the brief mention of her mother says there might be a whole OTHER show here, for perhaps Next Year. An hour WELL spent is what I'd like to send you off with.


by Lynn Hickman on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

I liked the storyteller but found the story less than clear. I personally struggle with clutter but didn't find any new insights here.

Excellent Show!!

by Melody Mendis on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

My husband I had a great time and so many of Judith's stories hit home. She is a wonderful writer, very generous in her performance and genuinely engaging with her audience!

The Siren Call of Clutter

by Marlys Harris on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Stories—both cautionary, funny and inspiring--told entertainingly by raconteuse Judith Heineman about the all-too-human desire to keep the stuff that holds our memories or suggests new possibilities—and the steep cost to be paid when the impulse goes unchecked. A fun hour.

Not as engaging as I had hoped

by Mary Hancy on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

I planned half of my day around this and I found myself checking my watch half way through. It was interesting but not wonderful. Made me think though.

Great Show!

by Ada Cheng on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

The story about Collyer Brothers was beautifully told.

Maybe to the mess...

by Rach Towner on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Confident storytelling. An interesting tale amongst the clutter - but maybe not enough to hang onto all of it. Sometimes there is a need to let things go.

Wonderful storyteller!

by Doreen Williams on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Great props!

Very unique

by S. Andersen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I thought this was a great show concept, and had a good time watching it. Great persona and use of props.

Not what I expected

by Randa Schollmeyer on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

It pains me to give only two stars to any show, but this one just did not work for me. While Judith is very likable and while the Colluer story was interesting and well-told, it just wasn't enough to lift the otherwise awkwardly constructed show. For me, there was a mixed message, which wasn't successfully managed, and the final story was sweet but wholly off-topic. Overall, it seemed like 20 minutes of solid content that was stretched into a 60 minute show. The use of 8x10 photos as visuals was not effective. Her voice could sometimes barely be heard, even from the front row.

1 person found this review helpful

The art of storytelling

by Don Feeney on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

See this show if you want to learn what storytelling is about. This goes well beyond the string of jokes or confessional/cathartic monologue that so many one-person shows devolve into. It had good material (particularly the story of the Collyer brothers), an arc and flow, and every word was carefully chosen for full effect. The arena stage is not ideal for this type of performance, however, as it requires the storyteller to have their back to some portion of the audience at all times

Yes to the mess!

by Sue Searing on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

That's the slogan Judith Heineman had the audience shouting during her entertaining show, which uses humor to plumb the history and psychology of the neatnik-to-hoarder spectrum. She joined a few compelling and well crafted longer stories together with miscellaneous facts and observations about messiness and clutter. The overall structure of the piece felt a bit disorganized, which might have been intentional (the medium is the message!), and some of the props were hard to see, but it was an unalloyed joy to watch her ring so many changes on a theme that everyone can relate to.

Great storytelling. Engaging

by Michael Gauer on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I found the story (stories) very interesting and fun to listen to. It was well put together and made me think of my own clutter tendencies. Or should I say the things I treasure, instead of my clutter?

Got to be too long

by Teresa Nelson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Entertaining but hard to listen to for an hour.

Cast and crew

Judith Heineman

Actor, writer

Judith Heineman, a professional storyteller, actor, producer, workshop leader for over 25 years, will be telling stories at the Hans Christian Andersen statue in New York City's Central Park onSaturday, August 19. Judith toured Japan in Nov., 2014, where she told stories in English to over 2000 students. She is a Chicago Moth winner, (May, 2010), and Moth GrandSLAM participant. Judith performs nationally and internationally, bringing her engaging andinteractive style of world tales and personal narrative to diverse communities of all ages. In 2012, she and musician partner Dan Marcotte were invited to the “After Grimm” conference at Kingston University in Sussex, England to perform an excerpt of their Grimm’s Grimmest: The Darker Side of Fairy Tales show. She continued on to Dublin, where she was invited to be the “Exotic Teller” at the Yarnspinner’s Club. Her ”Grimm’s Grimmest” CD: with musician Dan Marcotte, won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, a Storytelling World Honors and a NAPPA (National Parenting) Honors Award. That live show is among the most requested of the Illinois Humanities Council where she is a “Road” Scholar. Judith is an Illinois Arts Council Artstour Artist and Arts-in-Education Residency Artist. Judith received Chicago’s SAGE award for “Promoting better intercultural understanding through Storytelling,” 2009. In 2008 she went to China on a Storytelling Delegation supported by an Illinois Governor’s Grant. A scholarly chapter on this experience appears in the award winning 4th edition of Storytelling Art and Technique. Her first fiction story collected and adapted on that same trip appears in the new anthology by Julie Herrera, Old China Through the Eyes of a Storyteller, called "Across the Bridge Rice Noodles."

Judith has performed at almost every major Chicago Museum, and has been commissioned to create original shows for many. Judith toured over 100 Illinois and Chicago Public libraries combined often performing for themed summer reading programs. Regional performances include: The Connecticut Storytelling Festival, Illinois Storytelling Festival, Sterling Storytelling Festival, IL, Chinquapin, IL and Clearwater Festival, twice, NY State, Pete Seeger founder; Two Chairs Telling, MN, Chicago Celtic Festival where she inaugurated, curated, performed and MC’d their first Storytelling Venue, 2009; Hans Christian Andersen Statue, Central Park, New York City; Museum of the City of New York, Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC. Her "Yiddish King Lear, an original immigration story about her grandfather, " can be seen on the digital festival: Stories Connect Us All.
Judith performed a variant her one-woman show Clutter at the first Long Island, NY, Fringe Festival, 2009; and Gert's Gracious Guide to Good Living: Stories My Mother Told Me, at Northlands Regional Conference Fringe and at EMBARK, Peekskill, NY. She has performed at Sharing the Fire, MA and Northlands concerts, at the Chicago Children’s Humanities Festival, universities, book fairs, literary societies, schools, house concerts and over 100 senior centers and nursing homes under a Rothschild Foundation Grant. In another life, she taught HS English and Journalism in NYC, and holds an MA in English and Education.

After introducing Tellabration! A worldwide Storytelling celebration, to Chicago in 1997, she co-founded the Chicago Storytelling Guild, still running. She is a co-founder of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, Producer and founder of Mohegan Colony’s Storytelling and Music Festival, Westchester, NY, 2001- 2013. Producer and teller at the Story Stage at Peekskill EXPO, 2015. She taught an adult
Storytelling Workshop for the University of Chicago’s Graham School (10 years), and coaches privately. She co-chaired the National Storytelling Conference (NSN) Chicago, 2003, and a workshop at their 2004 conference and at Northlands and Sharing the Fire Regional Conferences. She is a 2013 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award Winner for Service and Leadership in the North Central Region. She splits her time between Chicago and New York City and is often not sure where she is, having absolutely no sense of direction! She is a proud member of the professional theatre unions: SAG, Aftra, Actors’ Equity.

Dorothy Cleveland

Stage Manager

More information

Marie Kondo, move over! Say, "Yes, to the Mess!"

Another of my specialties is the Grimmest of the Grimm tales as meant for adults. To hear some go to Chicago Amplified on NPR:


Or on our award winning CD of the same title, CD baby or Spotify.

A quote from a native son and Grimm authority, Jack Zipes, had this to say of our work: "A wonderful, if not chilling interpretation... You are a great Storyteller."

For more of my work: A Yiddish King Lear:




Humble Cup
Two Bettys